Restaurants in Turkey

After a 35-minute ferry ride from central Beşiktaş to Bostanci, on Istanbul’s Asian side, you can walk along the water to this modern restaurant with outdoor seating and sea views.

Unassuming highway-side kebapci with a delightful terrace out back. The kebabs and lahmajun pide are both stellar.

Locals have a love-hate relationship with Kazim Usta: they complain about its high prices and less-than-stellar service, and yet they still pack the place for its unmatched seafood. The stuffed mussels and sea bream are the best around.

In a neighborhood filled with snootily fashionable terrace cafés—where the waitstaff seem to make a special point of ignoring you—Atika stands out for its genial atmosphere of bonhomie.

If the name of this rooftop bistro in the city's Beverly-Hills-type neighborhood of Bebek betrays a certain European flavor, it’s not by accident.

Turkish ice cream is stickier and chewier than its Western counterpart—it stretches. You can’t get it anywhere but Turkey. The secret ingredient is salep, the ground tubers of wild orchids.

This museum restaurant is noted for its neo-60’s interior of unpolished
oak and black-leather banquettes. Try the olive oil–braised celery root
enlivened with tangerine, and rosy lamb chops, from the smart
modern-Mediterranean menu.

The Tugra was the calligraphic seal of the Ottoman Sultans. No doubt the restaurant of the same name now located in the sumptuous 19th-century Ciragan Palace on the western shore of the Bosphorus would get one of approval.

On the city’s Asian side, you’ll find Çiya Sofrasi, past the splendorous Kadiköy fish-and-produce market. As you pick your dishes from the no-nonsense counter, keep in mind that Çiya’s owner, Musa Dağdeviren, may be Turkey’s first globally recognized foodie brain.

To sample the ultimate meat wrap, grab a succulent döner, near the Nuruosmaniye Gate.

In the Beyoglu district of Istanbul, the Pera neighborhood has staged a comeback of recent years, reclaiming its title of the hippest neighborhood. Adding to the neighborhood's bohemian vibe is Nu Teras, a rooftop dance club for the young and well-to-do.

Set right on the Bosporus, this relaxed Mediterranean eatery recalls the waterfront cafés of Mill Valley and Sausalito.

Kasibeyaz is one of three restaurants operating in a complex next to the Istanbul airport. It specializes in high-end versions of Turkish classics like cig kofte (raw meatballs), kebabs, and alinazik (puree of roasted eggplant with diced lamb).